EIS, SEIS and VCT reliefs: risk to capital

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:45 pm ar 9 Ionawr 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General 2:45, 9 Ionawr 2018

Briefly, the hon. Gentleman raised a few points, including one being about HMRC and its effectiveness, particularly in advance assurances. As we know, advance assurances are a service provided on a non-statutory basis by HMRC, where a company can be given assurance on proposed investments that qualify for relief, unless the circumstances of the investment or, indeed, the law were to change. Here, assurance is being provided for investments that have not yet occurred. Clearly, HMRC cannot provide assurances for investments which, by the time they are made, may not meet a new condition that is going through Parliament. That has been a situation recently. HMRC has published a response to its advance assurance consultation, which sets out the steps it is taking with the aim of dealing with the vast majority of cases in 15 working days by this spring. That includes taking the action that we have been discussing on capital preservation.

In terms of reviews, assessments and the new clauses that are proposed, I come back to my earlier points that this whole set of changes that we are looking at around VCTs, EIS and so on, have come out of an extensive period of consultation led by Sir Damon as part of the patient capital review, in which the very questions that the hon. Member for Bootle was rightly asking in his speech were asked and consulted on in great detail. As I said earlier, there will be a report to the Chancellor on the implementation of these measures. That will happen in the Budget this year, in 2018. By autumn 2020, we will have the assessment report on the policies, including the measures that are covered in the Bill. For those reasons, I urge the Committee to reject the new clauses, and I commend clauses 14 to 17 and Government amendment 1.